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    Home / Science projects / Make a Plant Herbarium
    • Make a Plant Herbarium

      Make a Plant Herbarium

      An herbarium is a collection of dried and pressed plants. For hundreds of years scientists and plant lovers have preserved dried plants for study in herbariums. The great taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus had 14,000 specimens in his herbarium!

      Plant presses work best for drying and pressing flowers and plants, but they can also be effectively pressed between newspaper and books.

      Herbariums can contain entire plants (including roots), seeds, leaves, or flowers. Try to gather specimens from a variety of places: your backyard or garden, a field, a river or lake shore, a beach, a swamp, or a forest.

      Use a tree, weed, or flower guide to identify your specimens. You may want to write out a label with the specimen's common and scientific names, as well as the date and the location where you found it. Press your specimens as soon after collecting as possible. They should take about 1-3 weeks to dry out completely.

      Attach the pressed specimens to heavy paper or cardstock. Thin strips of masking tape or plastic tape work well for whole plant specimens and glue works well for attaching seeds. Be sure to include a label for each specimen.

      Here are more detailed directions for pressing and mounting plant specimens:

      1. Lay your specimen out so it looks attractive and the main features of the plant can be seen clearly. For large specimens, you may have to bend the stems in a sharp zigzag pattern so they will fit on the page. You can also cut the plant in half and show the top half and bottom half side by side.
      2. It is a good idea to show both sides of the leaves, since the top and bottom often look very different. You can also leave space to glue a small envelope to hold seeds and other small parts.
      3. There are several methods you can use to mount your specimens, but one of the most common is called the glass-plate method. Traditionally botanists used glass plates for this, but you can use an aluminum cookie sheet. Dilute some white glue (like Elmer's) with water and spread it in a thin layer over the cookie sheet. (For delicate specimens, use thinner glue than for thick, woody stems.) Carefully set your specimen on the sheet so all parts touch the glue. If you need to, blot the plant on newspaper before placing it on the plant mounting page. Gently press on the specimen with a paper towel to fix it to the page and blot up any excess glue. Then cover each page with wax paper and stack them with cardboard in between. Put a weight on top of the stack and let the glue dry overnight. When it's dry, carefully slide each page into a plastic page protector.

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    By: Mighty Biologist(14 yrs)..
    Date: Dec 03, 2015

    It is good to have Herbarium of your known.I have one of my own with around 64 or 70 species of plants.This summers I got to make herbarium as homework,and guess what??I just showed my own herbarium to my teacher and she was so happy and proud to see that..I felt very nice of that and it gave me immense pleasure and joy.So,start making your herbarium today,it is really a fun..with this site it is very easy to make one of your own..TRY IT!!!

    By: JEROME
    Date: Aug 27, 2015

    I`ve already done that. it is the best and easy project that a student can get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By: Harmanpreet Kaur
    Date: Jul 13, 2015

    In this summer vacations my holidays homework of biology is make a Herbarium File

    By: Ragu
    Date: Jun 26, 2015

    I like to make herbarium

    By: spandana
    Date: Dec 28, 2014

    thank u 4 telling me about what a herbarium is

    By: Nana Afriyie
    Date: Nov 13, 2014

    what about mounting a specimen?

    By: vikram
    Date: Oct 28, 2014

    this is a useful web site

    Date: Oct 27, 2014

    It helped me a lot to complete my work,thanks

    By: Tresilchi
    Date: Oct 11, 2014

    Thank u

    By: navjot kaur
    Date: Sep 15, 2014

    really helped me